Saad Rafique’s statement irresponsible and unwarranted: ISPR

  • The PML-N minister hits back with a series of tweets, clarifying that his statement was presented out of context by media channels
Pakistan

RAWALPINDI – The chief of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) has termed Railways Minister Saad Rafique’s recent remarks regarding junior officers’ apparent lack of commitment to the army chief’s orders as “irresponsible and unwarranted”.

Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, while addressing a press conference at GHQ on Thursday, said the statement by the minister “doesn’t appear to be unintended”.

On December 19, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Qamar Jawed Bajwa briefed the Senate Committee of the Whole House on national security, making an unprecedented move in the history of the country.

Later in a statement he made in Lahore on December 24, Saad Rafique commended the COAS for his unequivocal support for the democratic system, and described his briefing in the Senate Committee “a significant event”. But the minister said that some elements in Pakistan army were yet involved in conspiracy against the democratic system of the country.

“The statement was extremely irresponsible and unwarranted, as it targets the chain of command. The Pakistan Army is a disciplined institution and the army chief’s orders are followed without question,” the ISPR chief said at the press conference.

“The army takes pride in its discipline. These remarks should not have been made.

“If this discipline and subordination is not present in the Army, it would not be the best in the world,” he added.

“There are some institutions which are also protected by the Constitution,” adding the statement was in violation of the Constitution.

“If the Army is determined and confident to stay within the bounds of the Constitution, it is the responsibility of every citizen to respect the law and the Constitution and stay within its bounds,” the military spokesman said.

‘Statement presented out of context’

Hours later, the minister hit back with a series of tweets, clarifying that his statement was presented out of context by media channels.

Rafique added that he plays a role for cohesiveness among state institutions.